29 Jan 2009

Take Marlin off the Menu

The International Game Fish Association has recently partnered with The Billfish Foundation and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation on a proactive campaign to ban the importation and sale of billfish (marlin, sailfish and spearfish) in the United States.
Titled “Take Marlin off the Menu,” the campaign is educating people about what billfish are, their role in the ecosystem, and their imperiled state from commercial over-fishing.
“Through education and political advocacy our ultimate goal is to end the commercial harvest, sale and importation of marlin, sailfish and spearfish in the United States,” said IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser.
Why is this a problem?
“Billfish stocks are in poor shape globally. As top predators, these fish are naturally less abundant than the species they prey on, yet commercial over-fishing has caused precipitous declines in their abundance,” reported Schratwieser. “In 2007, the IGFA commissioned a report to find out which countries were harvesting, exporting and importing the most billfish.
“What we found shocked us,” he stated. “The United States has the dubious distinction of being the world’s largest importer of billfish. What’s worse is that this entire industry results in few jobs and little revenue. In fact the total US billfish harvest and trade is only 0.07% of the total income of all commercial fishing in the US.”
Need another reason to stop eating billfish?
“They can contain harmful levels of mercury,” Schratwieser said.
“The United States Environmental Protection Agency health guidelines for fish consumption indicate that any fish with a mercury level greater than 1.5 parts per million (ppm) should not be consumed in any amount. Marlin, especially large specimens, have been found to have mercury levels as high as 15 ppm, and a recent study reported an average mercury level of 4.08 ppm for blue marlin sampled in Australian waters. Some fish are just more prone to accumulating mercury. King mackerel and sharks are also culprits,” added Schratwieser.
“The US billfish trade just doesn’t make sense.”
To join the three organizations in the fight to ban billfish importation and sale, visit the “Take Marlin off the Menu” web site at http://www.takemarlinoffthemenu.org/home to get more information on the campaign and to find out how you can help.

21 Jan 2009

Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding

20th of January 2009


Tourism Fiji in collaboration with key industry partners including the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (FIHTA), Society of Fiji Travel Associates (SOFTA) and Air Pacific confirmed that the necessary infrastructure, facilities and equipment to operate Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding with only minor damage reported by member Hotels, Resorts, Transport, Transfer and Cruise Operators, and International and Domestic airlines.

The industry is unified in its efforts and working hard to reassure visitor’s considering travel to Fiji to take advantage of Fiji’s tropical climate, excellent deals and of course to enjoy Fiji’s biggest asset – it’s warm, friendly people.

Key strategies to lure visitors to our shores include wide ranging familiarization visits commencing early next week to key tourism areas by prominent Travel Wholesalers, Travel Agents and Trade Press to demonstrate first hand the experiences Fiji has to offer. This will be followed up by great value holiday deals initially in the key source markets of Australia and New Zealand driven by Tourism Fiji and its partners.

In a meeting with the Minister for Tourism on Monday, the Minister reinforced his support for the industry and assured stakeholders that Government will facilitate road upgrading and other necessary infrastructure works to key Tourism areas as a priority. Government recognizes the resilience of the Tourism industry, its ability to quickly facilitate economic recovery, and its widespread importance to the local community.

The private sector continues to invest heavily in the industry with new hotel developments coming on line this year and new routes being opened up by Air Pacific.

Fiji’s Tourism Industry offers a wide range of Holiday experiences for local and international tourists, and support to Fiji’s tourism industry is critical to generate important foreign exchange enabling assistance to areas that have sustained damage by flooding.

The Tourism industry acknowledges and thanks the support offered by Government and global industry partners and will continue to cooperate closely with key stakeholders to achieve targeted visitor arrivals. The industry also realizes the importance of working with the media and seeks their support in the recovery process.

For further information please contact:

Mr Josefa Tuamoto
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Fiji
Phone: 6722433

Fiji’s Tourism industry has been largely unaffected by the recent flooding

19 Jan 2009

The Blue Wild Spearfishing Seminar and Expo

Impressive array of diving, free diving and spear fishing figures to participate in this highly-anticipated event.

The Blue Wild, http://thebluewild.com/index.html, announced today the dates, schedule, speakers, and the benefiting charity for the 2009 Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Seminar & Expo. The Expo will feature the top names in fishing, spearfishing, sailing, and more.

The Expo will be held at the IGFA headquarters, http://www.igfa.org, in Dania Beach, FL on February 6th, 7th, & 8th.

“The Blue Wild is for anyone that loves the ocean,” said event hostess and producer Sheri Daye. Sheri, a freedive national spearfishing champion, multiple world record holder, and host of Speargun Hunter on Outdoor Channel went on to add, “The Expo promises to be a unique experience for the ocean enthusiast. The top names and experts will offer their knowledge and adventures in a personal, festive atmosphere. It will be a memorable, feel-good event for all ages!”

The Expo kicks off on Friday evening, February 6th, with the “kickoff party” and a celebration of living ledged Art Pinder’s 80th birthday. Admission and birthday cake is free on Friday with nominally priced beer, refreshments, and food. The entire family is welcome to come out, party, and meet the celebrities!

On Saturday, February 7th & Sunday the 8th, the Expo features dozens of vendors and speakers. Speakers include:

*Steve Callahan – Sailor, Survivor, Best Selling Author, Adventurer
*Pipin Ferreres – World Champ Freediver, Cinematographer

*Kirk Krack & Mandy-Rae – Freedive Instructor, Coach, Record Setter

*Carey Chen – Marine Artist, Fisherman, Conservationist

*Art Pinder – King of Sling, Living Legend

*Bouncer Smith – Fishing Icon, Teacher, Captain

*Manny Puig – Shark Wrangler, Swamp Explorer, Sculptor

*Tom Mount – Tech Diving Icon, Instructor

*Frank “Skip” Smith – Fishing Legend, Multiple Record Setter, Conservationist

Pre-Paid Admission is $75.00 or $85.00 at the door. The admission fee covers one or both days, seminar, workshops, vendor expo, goodie bag, T-shirt, and lunch. Admission can be prepaid at http://thebluewild.com/tickets.htm

Twin Palms Center for the Disabled,
http://www.twinpalmscenter.org will be the recipient of the event proceeds. Sheri adds, “As fishermen, we are blessed to be on the ocean, and we are often humbled by her might, beauty, and unpredictability. I think it gives us a unique perspective on life, knowing we are blessed, and knowing we must give back and help those who are not so blessed.”

Giant Raffles will be held each day with thousands of dollars worth of prizes… thanks to our sponsors, Divers Direct, Flanigan’s, Daryl Wong Spearguns, Bass Pro Shops, plus many more gracious sponsors!

Sheri Daye may be contacted at (561) 715-0247

The Blue Wild Spearfishing Seminar and Expo

13 Jan 2009

Fiji Islands Saltwater Fishing Report - January 2009

Phil Calderon from Costa Rica with an 80lb GT

A superb start to the summer season has seen glassy seas and acres of Yellowfin and skipjack tuna smashing bait balls as far as the eye can see. Most of the yellowfin Tuna are schoolie fish to 30lbs but lurking a little further offshore are good sized yellowfin to 100lbs. These school fish are excellent fun on light tackle and of course even better as livebaits and skipbaits for the blue and black marlin. Average blue size right now is
around 300lbs but expect that to climb rapidly by February.

The popper casting and deepwater jigging fans are in seventh heaven with the millpond conditions. Best GT so far was an 80lb model which fell to Phil Calderon visiting from California with angler Dan Ryan coming in a close second with a beautiful GT of about 70lbs. Right now and for the next few months, anglers casting poppers can expect to catch GTs, dogtooth tuna, jobfish, red bass, bluefin Trevally, barracuda and even the occasional grey reef shark. The bite is so good you never now what's going to smash your lure next.

Phil takes a nice Dogtooth Tuna on the popper

Dan and Joeli with a 70lb GT
A burst of monsoonal rain run-off early January has filled Fiji waters with all manner of floating FADs and the mahi mahi are everywhere. The current difficulty is deciding which log holds mahi mahi and which log holds a school of baitfish with a lurking blue marlin.

Capt Adrian Watt
Bite Me Gamefishing